Decades ago, many people used to ride in their cars without seatbelts on. Decades ago, infants were simply held in the arms of their mother when in a moving car. Now, seatbelts are a safety necessity in cars and children (from infants to adolescence) are in some type of safety seat when in the car.
Technology is always changing and that has proven to be true with car technology as well. As time passes, cars develop more technology driven safety features and it’s important to know which ones are worth considering for your next car.
This technology will alert a driver if they start to veer into another lane over the markings on the road. If you start to go into another lane (whether you fall asleep or look down at the radio) the car will alert you to get the car back into the lane. In fact, some cars even come with corrective steering which will automatically steer you back into your designated lane.
Although this technology is still being developed and many cars are still without it, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hoping that all cars will have vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities by 2023. This technology will allow cars to communicate with one another and help alert one another of potential hazards, hopefully reducing accidents.
Many cars, especially larger ones, have blind-spots. This technology helps to notify drivers if a car is approaching their blind spot which they might miss from looking in their standard car mirrors. Often times, blind-sport warning technology is built into the side view mirror of a car. The mirror will typically light up or flash if a car is approaching your blind spot.
If you have an older car, there are plenty of applications and “stand-alone” features that you can purchase in order to make your car safe.
Google Street View camera cars drive around and map streets on all seven continents so people can view them through Google Maps and Google Earth.
Google camera cars received new technology which allowed them to map methane leaks, making them especially valuable to the public and cities all over the states.
Methane is found in natural gas, and according to the project partners at Colorado State University, is 80 times more potent when compared to carbon dioxide over the course of 20 years.
As of right now, only four cars are carrying the methane detection equipment but have found leaks in cities such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, and Pittsburgh among several others. The cars have mostly detected methane leaks in urban areas which have old gas lines right beneath their streets.
The cars are able to use an infrared laser system, which is carried in the trunk of the car, allowing them to log methane data as they drive. The project is being paid for through the Environmental Defense Fund.
The cars are seeking out methane leaks so the leaks can be fixed which will have tremendous environmental benefits on the cities being affected. Joe von Fischer, project head, spoke out saying, “One of the reasons we’re focusing on methane leaks in cities is that we can actually do something about them.”
Although the cars are successfully finding these leaks, the leaks are extremely expensive to fix which is why many of them still exist. Many companies don’t fix the pipes, even if they are aware of leaks, until they become dangerous. However, now the public has knowledge of these leaks as well.
With Google Street View cards discovering and identifying the methane leaks, hopefully the leaks will start to get more attention so the amount of greenhouses gases being leaked into cities will decline.
In Dubai, police cars are breaking some tremendous records. Police in Dubai are driving Bugatti’s, Ferrari’s, and Lamborghini’s, and one police car has now reached a record breaking speed.
Guinness World Records just confirmed that Dubai is now home to the fastest police car in the world: a Bugatti Veyron.
The car is just one of 14 extremely fast police cars that the city has on their “fleet.” The police force in Dubai also has Bentley’s, Porsche’s, and BMW’s at their disposal.
The Bugatti Veyron is able to reach 253mph due to the 16-cylinder engine that is able to produce 1,000 horsepower. The car can also go from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds. The car beat out the Lamborghini Gallardo which only reached 230mph.
Many people might not understand the need for a luxury police car, but in Dubai where most people drive exotic sports cars, the police need something similar in order to keep up. However, while you might picture this car chasing down criminals, it actually is mostly used as a showstopper for tourists.
Major Sultan Marri of Dubai police’s General Department of Transport and Rescue stated to CNN, “We’re not looking to just show off with the car; we’re looking to show tourists how friendly the police are in Dubai.” Many people stop to take pictures with the cars and chat with the officers, and tourists often spend their trip searching for these vehicles.
Many car makers and dealerships aspire to be chosen for the Dubai police fleet and it’s really considered an honor if one of your car is selected. We are anxious to see what car they’ll seek out next.
Thanks to decades of public safety campaigns, modern car owners are well-aware of the dangers associated with drunk and distracted driving. Drowsy driving, on the other hand, has received far less attention from safety experts until recently.
Earlier this week at the 2017 Managing Fatigue Conference in San Diego, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is launching a new campaign to raise awareness about drowsy driving, and offer strategies to prevent people from falling asleep at the wheel. According to preliminary research conducted by the NHTSA, drowsy driving was responsible for roughly 41,000 injuries and more than 800 deaths in 2015. With this campaign, the NHTSA hopes to dramatically reduce the number of drowsy driving accidents that happen each year.
The goals outlined in the campaign are quite broad, covering everything from public education to vehicle safety technologies to employer policies and safety legislation. These include, but are not limited to:
Facilitating engagement between the sleep science community and the insurance industry
Evaluating the effectiveness of corporate fatigue-management policies
Encouraging the adoption of collision-avoidance technologies
Developing fatigue-risk-management programs for high-risk professions such as EMS responders
Exploring the potential of graduated driver licensing laws to reduce drowsy driving
Ultimately, embracing new advancements in vehicle safety technology may offer the best chance of reducing fatigue-induced accidents. If autonomous vehicles become the norm, they may even eliminate drowsy driving accidents in the future. Until then, collision-avoidance systems and lane-departure alerts can make a big difference as well. As these technologies become standard features on more vehicles, we can expect to see a decline in accident rates across the board.
Flying cars might still be the stuff of science fiction, but in recent years quadcopter drones have become remarkably accessible and affordable. That’s why a number of start-ups, engineers and transit officials want to develop autonomous drones that are large enough to ferry people to and from work on their daily commutes.
Last October, popular ridesharing company Uber unveiled its Elevate program, which is designed to conduct R&D on the future of urban air travel. They even hired an aircraft engineer from NASA’s Langley Research Center to help spearhead the research. Meanwhile, engineers in the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University are conducting similar research in hope of developing a viable self-flying passenger drone. Not to be outdone, Google co-founder Larry Page has also provided financial backing for two Silicon Valley start-ups that are working to develop vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft for urban transit.
Because they can travel in straight lines between destinations rather than relying on roadways, passenger drones could make commutes in crowded cities much faster. By some estimates, they could reduce hour-long commutes in congested traffic to a matter of minutes. Quadcopter drones are also relatively lightweight and mechanically simple, which makes large-scale passenger drones seem pretty plausible. Thanks to companies like Tesla and Google, the idea of self-flying vehicles doesn’t even seem too farfetched.
But even if engineers can successfully develop autonomous passenger drones, there are still some logistical and regulatory hurdles that must be overcome before they can take to the skies.
To begin with, autonomous passenger drones will need to be able to communicate with one another to avoid mid-air collisions. This would require drone manufacturers to agree on an industry-standard communication protocol, and establish a way to network their drones so that they can send and receive feedback in real time. Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still working to establish rules and safety regulations for drone traffic. Without FAA approval, passenger drones will remain firmly on the ground until further notice.
The majority of the car industry is investing in autonomous vehicle technology, and some companies are as committed as can be.
Recently, two major technology driven companies joined force in hopes to conquer the self-driving car market together.
Intel, which is an American multinational corporation and technology company, recently purchased a self-driving tech supplier called Mobileye. Intel paid over 15 billion dollars for Mobileye, making it the biggest-ever acquisition of an Israeli tech company.
Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich spoke out saying, “This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry, and consumers. Together, we (Intel and Mobileye) can accelerate the future of autonomous driving.”
Many people believe that the deal made between the two companies was largely motivated by money. Intel is predicted to save about $175 million a year by 2019 because of tax advantages that they’ll receive from purchasing Mobileye.
Mobileye offers plenty of car related technology and services, such as sensor function, mapping, laser-based sensors, cameras, and so forth. Through purchasing Mobileye, Intel is expected to get better access to what goes into autonomous driving systems as well as better relationships with automakers.
Intel’s autonomous driving division will be based in Israel and led by Mobileye’s CTO and co-founder, Professor Amnon Shashua.
Although this deal is new, the two companies have been working together for some time now. In fact, they tested 40 self-driving cars equipped with both of their technologies earlier this year.
Mobileye is also expected to continue to work with pre-existing partners, and Sashua said that many of Mobileye’s existing customers see this partnership as an advantage.
For most people, driving alongside a semi-truck is unsettling. Most people do their best to keep semi-trucks at a distance, whether they pass them quickly or remain a safe distance behind them.
However, sharing the road with semi-trucks is a must and it can be easy to do if you are educated on how to do so.
Give Them Space
It is really important to give a semi-truck space, and it should be the first rule that comes to mind when sharing the road with one. Trucks can be easily blown by wind, have pieces or latches come loose, and can easily glide from side to side compared to cars. If you give semi-trucks space, you’ll be less likely to be a victim in an accident if the trucks shifts or loses a tire.
Make Yourself Seen
One downside of semi-trucks is that they have many blind spots which means that truckers often can’t see the cars on the road around them. If you are driving in close proximity to a semi-truck, do your best to make yourself visible. If you can see the mirrors of a truck, they can often see you. You should never ride close to the rear of the truck; you will not be seen.
It is OK to pass a semi-truck but you should know how to do so safely. You should give the truck plenty of space and go as quickly as possible. You should do your best to pass on the left side because the right side has more blind spots. Semi-trucks are hard to stop and it often takes a lot of time for them to do so, wait a minute or two before you get in front of the truck. Cutting a truck off is dangerous, and often illegal.
Let Them Pass
A semi-truck is not a vehicle that you want to challenge. If a truck is attempting to switch lanes, it is in your best interest to let them in front of you if you can do so safely. If you speed up and attempt to get around them first, you’ll likely end up in a blind spot. In many states, flashing your lights for a truck will indicate that it is safe and clear for them to switch lanes.
Volkswagen recently revealed their latest self-driving car which has a fairly odd appearance.
The car, named Sedric, has a “rectangle” shape and has a relatively plain appearance. Fortune compared it to a “portable cassette boom box” which is the best description we’ve heard yet.
Check out a video example of the car below:
The car is fully autonomous and has no pedals and no steering wheel. The car can be “called” with a push of a button and will come give you a ride to your desired location. The “control button” is one of the most unique features of Sedric. If you were to own a Sedric, you would be able to call your personal car or call a shared Sedric in another city using your personal control button.
The interior of Sedric is relatively casual, with open seating arrangements and sleek wood floors. The interior of the car is very “laid back” compared to the standard “futuristic” interiors in potential self-driving cars.
Sedric is the first autonomous car concept we’ve seen from Volkswagen, and as of right now, it is nothing more than a concept. Volkswagen said that Sedric is one of many upcoming concept cars so we’ll likely see other potential self-driving car concepts from Volkswagen in the near future.
CEO of Volkswagen, Mattias Müller, stated “Many elements and functions of this concept car will reappear in vehicles from our brands in the coming years.”
In June of 2016, Volkswagen put what they are referring to as the “2025 strategy” in place. The strategy is heavily focused on electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology. In fact, Volkswagen stated that they plan to launch over 30 purely battery-powered vehicles by 2025.
Purchasing a car can be expensive and many people are searching for a car that they can afford. According to Consumer Reports, the average new car typically costs $34,000. They compiled a list of the best cars under $30,000 that have good road test performance, safety features, and so forth.
Below are just a few cars that made the list:
The Prius made the list largely in part because it gets 52mpg, a huge factor when it comes to shopping for an electric car. It also provides customers with an extremely comfortable ride and proved to be pretty responsive. The car is able to drive on electric alone up to 25mph and the engine is fairly quiet. However, the Prius is known for loud tire noses and limited cabin space.
The Kia Optima is a midsized sedan that gets about 28mpg overall. The car has a lot of enticing features for a car that is under $30,000 such as leather seats, automatic climate control, and heated seats. The controls are relatively simple to use, making it simple for people that don’t handle technology well. However, the car does have low-positioned dash vents.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
If you’re looking for something a bit more sport-themed, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a lightweight roadster for an affordable price. This car is a six-speed manual shifter and has an optional automatic setting. The car is quick but it can get pretty loud. However, it is sporty and affordable, two things that many consumers are in search of.
This Outback has plenty of room inside of it and is functional for someone looking for storage and space. It is comfortable and has about a 24mpg overall. It has simple controls and a simple touch-screen system. Three adults can easily fit into the back of the SUV, making it practical for road trips, carpooling, and otherwise.
Uber, a very popular ride-hailing service, recently gained some negative attention for putting self-driving cars on the roads in California without having permission to do so by the state itself.
Towards the end of 2016, Uber went against the direction of California state regulators and put self-driving cars on the roads of San Francisco that did not perform well. According to reports, Uber’s cars ran a total of six red lights in a very short time. The car also supposedly had trouble navigating bike lanes as well.
Uber had announced that they would be creating self-driving cars in December of 2016, and were quickly criticized for not being registered on the California DMV’s list of companies approved to test self-driving cars.
Uber was insistent that the vehicles being produced were not autonomous but were just equipped with “Advanced Driver Assist System” so they did not require a permit. Regardless, the state of California insisted that the vehicles were autonomous and revoked registration of the cars Uber produced.
However, during the midst of this controversial back and forth, an Uber self-driving car was spotted running a red light in San Francisco.
Uber claimed that the traffic violation was due to human error. They claimed that the person inside did not take the car over in time which caused the car to run the light. Many other sources believe, the New York Times included, that the error was due to the cars’ poor mapping programs.
Overall, the incident indicates how committed Uber is to producing a self-driving car, for better or worse.
We’ve talked often about what necessities you should keep in your car for winter months in order to protect yourself from severe weather while driving. However, you should keep a variety of items in your car at all times in the event that an emergency occurs.
Cell Phone Charger
Most of us will grab a cell phone charger before we walk out the door to ensure that we have one with us “just in case.” However, if your car won’t turn on a standard cell charger that you’d use at home will not work. Keep an external portable battery charger in your car at all times. These plug into your phone and can get enough battery power to make a call or send a text in an emergency.
You’d be surprised at how many people drive around without jumper cables. You should always keep these in the trunk of your car in the event that your car dies. They are extremely affordable and can prevent you from being stranded for an extended amount of time. Consider purchasing ones that fall around eight feet long in order to reach easily from one car to another.
If your car breaks down and you walk until you find an isolated gas station, there is a good chance that the gas station you’ve stumbled upon does not accept credit cards. You could also get lost while driving and end up at a toll that you didn’t expect to go through. You should hide cash somewhere inside of your car in the event that you face an emergency and need cash to handle it.
Reflective triangles are a great thing to have in your car in the event that you break down. Putting reflective triangles around your car will help you to protect yourself and your car from other traffic. You should keep about three triangles somewhere inside of your car to put out if needed. Triangles can also help get the attention of the person coming to tow your car or pick you up.
Empty Gas Can
If you are guilty of waiting until the last minute before filling your gas tank, you should keep an empty gas can in your car. If you are ever driving and you do run out of gas, you can take the can to a gas station and get it filled so you can fill your tank. However, it’s important to keep this can empty. A full gas can is a hazard; it can easily explode or start on fire.
Check out a complete list of what you should consider keeping in your car all times here. Visit Permaplate’s blog post for more automotive news.
In recent years, hybrids and electrical vehicles have become a major focus of the automotive industry. According to Green Car Reports, over half a million carbon-cutting hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full electric vehicles were sold in the United States.
The automotive industry is going green as consumers demand cars that are environmentally focused. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) focused recently on several of the “greenest cars” for 2017. All twelve cars that made the list were electrical but each one has something unique to offer and we thought we’d highlight a few.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The ACEEE listed the Hyundai Ioniq Electric as the “greenest” car sold in the United States. It typically travels about 124 miles on a charge and gets 136mpg.
The Fiat 500E is a compact coupe that is only being sold in California and Oregon, but it did make the list of great green cars for 2017. The car gets about 84 miles a charge which is about 112mpgs.
This vehicle is small but still has a decent amount of space compared to other compact electrical vehicles. The Nissan Leaf gets about 107 miles on a charge which is about 112mpgs.
Toyota Prius Prime
The Prius has been making “green car” headlines for years and the latest model is no different. This car is estimated to run the first 25 miles on batter power alone. After about 133mpg, the car starts operating as a conventional hybrid.
Overall, Toyota took the “greenest cars” list by storm with three models in the running, two hybrids and one plug-in hybrid. Surprisingly, the popular “Tesla Model S” did not find a place on the list although it is rated as a high quality electric vehicle.
If you’re searching for a car to reduce your own carbon footprint, the majority of the cars on this list are available for purchase across the United States.
If you live in a portion of the United States that experiences harsh winters, you’re probably desperate for spring and a glimpse of warm weather. Luckily, spring is getting closer and we’ll soon be able to roll down our windows and soak up the sun.
As the seasons prepare to shift, you should prepare for your car for spring.
Windshield wipers are overworked in winter months. They are constantly washing away rain, snow, slush, and salt and get worn out. Windshield wipers deserve a spring break too; replace your wipers when weather improves.
Fill Up On Fluids
Most people use an exceptional amount of windshield wiper fluid in winter months. Although it’s important to make sure that you’re not running low throughout winter months, make sure to top it off in the spring as well. While you’re at it, check your oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid also.
Scrub the Salt
If you live in an area where salt is found on most roads, it is important to clear any residue from your car. Salt, and sand, can damage the paint of your car. It is important to scrub the salt from both the inside and outside of your car. Give special attention to the bottoms of the doors and the carpets inside.
As we’ve mentioned before, tire pressure is an important part of car maintenance. Shifts in the seasons can cause tire pressure to fluctuate. Although you should be checking tire pressure on a regular basis, make sure to check it seasonally as well, ensure that tire pressure is appropriate.
Many people collect cars as a hobby and many collectible cars date back several decades. However, different cars become ideal each year for car collectors.
Most cars become discontinued and are never worth the time, effort, and money of a professional car collector. However, with each year, some cars are labeled as cars that could be valuable years down the road.
Hagerty, a vintage car insurer, released what 2017 cars they believe might be worth money at some point for collectors. McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, expressed that “the cars chosen have an ‘it’ factor that makes them stand out from the crowd.” We highlighted a few top choices:
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
This car was rated number one in the list of “10 Future Collectible Cars to Buy and Hold Now.” Although it’s somewhat expensive, it is a relatively affordable option considering it has a Ferrari engine and what it could be worth down the line. It also can reach 60mph in 3.8 seconds and is well-known for incredible horsepower capabilities.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
This Chevrolet Camaro is ideal for racing with a 640-hp supercharged V8 engine. The Camaro has been collected for decades, and the newest model made the list of potential future collectibles as well. One of the latest (and arguably best) features of this car is the quick-shifting 10-speed automatic optional.
Ford F150 Raptor
The classic “pick-up” truck is a staple in romantic comedies and they are still making the list for potential collectible cars in 2017. The Ford F150 Raptor is the latest version of Ford’s full-size pickup truck with a strong and solid appearance. The first generation Raptor, according to Hagerty, is already becoming a collector favorite.
Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth
The 2017 Fiat is a reflection of the style that many of the Fiat’s had in the 1960’s. It is a high performance version of the old-fashioned car that was highly sought after with a MultiAirturbo engine. It also comes with a wide variety of upgrades for people interested in them.
It’s practically impossible to predict what cars will be popular decades from now but these models are certainly in the running.
We have written several posts about the concept of self-driving cars and how they will absolutely become reality in the near future.
In fact, Ford recently invested one billion dollars due to their unwavering faith in the heavily anticipated self-driving car future.
This past Friday, Ford announced that they are going to invest five billion dollars in an autonomous car startup called “Argo Al.” The headquarters are located in Pittsburgh, PA., and will also have offices in two other states.
Ford had endlessly invested into further developing cars, trucks, and the automobile industry as we know it.
Ford has integrated their brand into ride-hailing, ride sharing, and even bicycle rentals, working hard to remain “current” in an evolving industry.
Argo Al was created several months ago when two men, one working for Google and one working for Uber, met at Carnegie Mellon University. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, said that Ford invested in Argo Al “to drive the delivery of our own autonomous vehicle by 2021” among several other reasons.
Ford jumping on board with Argo Al is proof that automakers, along with tech companies, are doing whatever they can to get autonomous vehicles on the road.
Many companies are joining forces to simply make the process of producing a reliable autonomous car easier.
For instance, Uber currently has a 300 million dollar partnership with Volvo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a partnership with Waymo.
The majority of companies are focused on 2021 as the “year of the autonomous car” and with strong partnerships continuously forming, it’s definitely a possibility.
Years ago, people used to invest in expensive car features in order to increase the value of their car. However, the feature that might be worth the most in your car is something you can’t even see.
In fact, recent research has shown that the value of your car is comparable to the price of the data inside of it.
What Is Data?
According to the lead of the Intelligent Transporation System, Jim Barbaresso, “data is the currency of the digital age.” Come to find out, Barbaresso is right. Cars now come equipped with sensors that are constantly collecting data, and that data can be used to earn a profit.
What Data Does My Car Collect?
Cars all collect data using different technologies. For instance, a car that has a back-up camera can measure how many pedestrians or cars are on the block you’re on. Eran Shit, CEO of Nexar, touched in the importance of cars collecting data stating “By collecting data from vehicles, you effectively digitalize the public space, unlocking potential safety issues, security, and municipal and commercial benefits.
How Does Data Make Money?
Data, in recent years, has earned large companies such as Google and Facebook a large amount of money. They can collect data for businesses, through their websites, and sell the results of that data to that business so they can use the results to make changes or improvements. The more data a car can collect, the more that car is worth. For example, according to Tom Coughlin, founder of Coughlin Associates, a self-driving car collects 1 gigabyte of data per second. These cars, in particular, could produce a lot of business opportunities involving data.
What Is Data Being Used For?
Currently, data is being used to create and perfect self-driving cars. Collecting data will help car companies build a self-driving car that operates safely and correctly in all situations. Automakers are, and will likely continue, to sell the data within the cars to make large profits. The industry is doing whatever it can to get data from cars and use it to their advantage. Car companies are eager to purchase data in order to improve and perfect their own models. Many people in the car industry are eager to purchase data and discovering how they can use it to their advantage to produce the next best thing.
Salt Lake City, Utah – Siskin Enterprises, Inc., the manufacturer of PermaPlate Products, has successfully completed an annual surveillance audit as part of the company’s ongoing ISO 9001:2008 certification.
The ISO 9001:2008 Standard focuses on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus and continual improvement. By reaffirming their commitment to the ISO 9001:2008 Standard, Siskin Enterprises, Inc. strengthens their position as a strategic partner in the automotive industry. Customers can be confident that their needs will be clearly understood and fulfilled.
“Maintaining our ISO 9001:2008 certification is a unique and key focus for our company. It is important for our partners to know that our internal processes are geared toward consistently delivering superior products and a positive customer experience”, said John Nisson, President of Siskin Enterprises, Inc.
For many Americans, car shopping is about finding the car that best suits your family and lifestyle. Most families look to purchase cars with solid safety ratings, plenty of room for the little ones, good gas mileage, and so forth.
Forbes recently highlighted the most practical cars and crossovers for 2017 and we’ve highlighted several of them below:
Toyota Prius V
For many years, wagons were very popular with large families. They had plenty of space and offered families a lot of room for both children and all of their possessions. The Toyota Prius V, which is a wagon-like vehicle, has a decent fuel economy and offers a lot of cargo space with foldable seats.
Honda Accord Hybrid
This vehicle was recently named the Top SafetyPick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). When families shop for cars, the majority of them shop for safety. This car received top marks for crash tests, auto-braking forward collision prevention system, and more. If you want a car that will keep your precious cargo safe, this is a great option.
Subaru Outback 2.5i AWD
If you live in a region that experiences extreme winter weather, this could be a great option for your family. This vehicle has all-wheel-drive and has been prove to navigate easily over wet and snow covered roads. It also comes with plenty of cubic feet for storage as well.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD
This crossover SUV seats seven passengers, a great option for family errands and long road trips. If you have a large family or always end up carpooling with another family, this midsize SUV will give you the room that you need. This SUV was also a top safety pick of the IIHS for 2017 which is always a plus.
It is a matter of time before self-driving cars are coasting down our streets on a daily basis. As companies work tirelessly to produce self-driving cars, they work on getting the cars to recognize pedestrians, birds, and so forth.
However, self-driving cars are struggling to identify bicycles, posing as a threat to the pedestrians that use bicycles as their main form of transportation.
What is the Main Issue?
According to Nuno Vasconcelos, a visual computing expert at the University of California, “A car is basically a big block of stuff. A bicycle has much less mass and there can be more variation in appearance.” Even if self-driving cars do see bicycles, they don’t know how to identify them.
Can Self-Driving Cars See Bikes?
Self-driving cars are struggling to see bicycles. Researchers at George Mason University found that when they worked to get self-driving car technology to recognize objects, the technology could identify 89 percent of cars. However, it could not manage to spot and identify many bikes or bicyclists. In fact, it only recognized 74 percent of bicycles.
What Can Be Done?
Essentially, self-driving car producers have to work harder to get these new technologies to identify bicycles and the people riding them. For instance, Google’s autonomous vehicle spinoff has received upgraded bike-recognition capabilities, tackling this issue head-on. Ford claimed that “highly detailed 3D maps” are going to be at the center of the self-driving test cars they are putting out this year.
Are Bicyclists in Danger?
The short answer: no. Bicycles are fast and it can be hard to tell what they might do next, making them relatively unpredictable. Self-driving cars are struggling to see them but that is something that can be worked on through improved technology. Human error alone results in most traffic fatalities, so self-driving cars aren’t putting bicyclists in any more danger than they are riding down the street on any given day.
If you have been driving the same car around for a decade, you’re probably starting to get tired of it. If you can’t afford to replace it with a brand new car, consider upgrading your current car instead.
Technology is playing a major role in cars that is only improving with time, and luckily, you can reap the benefits of new technologies without getting a new car.
Many companies offer “aftermarket devices” which can be added into your current car typically for a low price, and you’ll feel like you’re driving away with the latest model.
Many cars now come equipped with technology that is intended to pamper consumers. Many cars now come with heated seats, allowing you to ride comfortably in cold temperatures. If heated seats weren’t an option when you purchased your current car, you can purchase seat covers that heat up instead, allowing you to add a little luxury into your car.
Back It Up
Most new cars now come with a rearview camera, which allows the driver to see behind the car in a way that the back windshield doesn’t allow. The rearview camera has become a vital safety feature, in fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is making them mandatory in May of 2018. You can purchase rearview cameras and install them yourself for an affordable price, improving the safety of your car.
If you are driving an outdated car, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of finding a radio station that you can handle listening to or attempting to quickly change the song on your phone. Install a Bluetooth stereo into your current car to upgrade your car in minutes. These systems allow you to easily access your music, take phone calls, and display any incoming alerts. The best part of this is, you won’t have to lift a finger.